Somalia: Over 3,500 Somali and Yemeni refugees arrive in Puntland

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More than 3500 Somali refugees fleeing the escalating violence in Yemen have arrived back home, making it the highest number of refugees escaping the violence in the middle-eastern country to arrive in Puntland in a single day.

Their journey from the Yemen port town of Mukalla to Bossaso took couple of days due to the bad weather in the red sea.

Among the refugees are dozens of Yemeni nationals who expressed happy faces after a long tiring journey.

Puntland authorities received the 3,502 refugees in the harbour on Thursday evening and provided basic needs to the returnees. Later on, they were transferred to makeshift camps, while others who were ill were taken to hospitals for medication.

Deputy Minister of Interior of Puntland Abdullahi Salah said in an interview with the BBC Somali Service that the autonomous state will continue to provide assistance to the returnees and other refugees.

Since April, more than 20,000 Somali refugees have managed to flee from the conflict in Yemen and arrived in the port towns of Bossaso and Berbera.

Puntland has been widely praised the generosity it has shown towards the returnees and other refugees who have escaped to its region.

Last month, the state started to relocate hundreds of Yemeni refugees in the first major resettlement program, with about 200 refugees transferred from an overcrowded makeshift settlement to apartments.

Back in Yemen, Tens of thousands of Somali citizens are still stuck in the violence, many in conflict-zones. Most of them are complaining of deteriorating.

For two decades, Somalis fleeing their failed state found in Yemen a safe haven, a place to work, and a gateway to wealthier Gulf States.

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